Olivia Skaja

As was the case for 30 years in Cotton, Minn., the fiddle contest tradition lives on at the 38th annual Minnesota State Old Time Fiddle Championships, held Aug. 3, 2019 in Mountain Iron. Fiddlers young and old competed for cash and prizes.

“We enjoy bringing fiddlers together, providing them a live performance opportunity, and by providing an opportunity to grow as a musician through feedback from our judges,” stated a press release from the championship. “We are proud to provide live entertainment for our local audience as well as bring tourists to beautiful Northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. Since our contest is certified by the National Old Time Fiddler’s Association, our Minnesota State Champion fiddler qualifies to participate in the National Old Time Fiddle Championships in Weiser, Idaho next June.”

Organizers of the event wish to thank the Mesabi Symphony Orchestra, their fiscal agent; accompanist Derek Birkeland Blue Wolf Sound; stage hands Brenden Bennett, Andrew Wilcox and Tucker Nelson; judges Sara Pajunen, Cristina Seaborn and John Wallace; the Merritt School custodial staff; and their many contest volunteers.

“We greatly appreciate the advertisers who have supported the contest this year as well as in past years,” continued the release. “We also want to thank our appreciative audience.”

This activity was made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, thanks to appropriations from the Minnesota State Legislature’s general and arts and cultural heritage funds, and in part by a grant from Lake Country Power’s Operation Round Up.

Congratulations to the following winners:

Championship Division

First Place, Olivia Skaja - Deer River, Minn.

Second Place, Sheila Wilcox - Mountain Iron, Minn.

Third Place, Aaron Wilcox - Duluth, Minn.

Fourth Place, Elias O'Brien - St. Paul, Minn.

Fifth Place, Mary Pat Kleven- Cannon Falls, Minn.

Junior-Junior Division

First Place, Sawyer Corcoran - Pinewood, Minn.

Second Place, Daniel Pospisil- Duluth

Junior Division

First Place, Martine Redshaw - Hovland, Minn.

Senior-Senior Division

First Place, Tim Krugman - Elyria, Ohio

Intermediate Division

First Place, Tim Tilberg - Duluth

Non-Fiddle Division

First Place, Olivia Skaja (Mandolin) - Deer River

Second Place, Sawyer Corcoran (Mandolin) - Pinewood

Third Place, Ellie Norvitch (viola) - Virginia, Minn.

Twin Fiddling

First Place, Ellie Norvitch and Sheila Wilcox

Second Place, Aaron Wilcox and Sawyer Corcoran

For more information, visit www.mesabisymphonyorchestra.org/FiddleContest.

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